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Breaking Cycles

January 6th, 2010 at 06:50 pm

I feel it necessary to expound a little of my husband's & my family background, so you'll know a little about how our money habits formed.

When I was growing up my parents were the epitomy of the financially saavy. My dad was the sole bread-winner and worked for the same company for almost 35 years (it's pretty much unheard of these days). He never had a car payment & saved regularly. My parents were fairly frugal but saved for what they wanted- they lived within their means! I would get an allowance growing up and worked summers every year. But when I got out on my own, I didn't really understand interest from credit cards, how mortgages work, or how important credit scores were. I couldn't fault my parents for not explaining car loans...they had never had one! Good for them...but a little bad for me. I think I was naive when I set off to college & started getting tons of attractive credit card offers!

My dear husband...his family was a little on the opposite spectrum. His parents had credit cards and car loans, but they worked really hard to pay for everything. They spend a lot of money on their kids, because that was their way of showing love. When his mom was laid off from her prestigous job they ended up in financial ruin, with no savings, nothing. Hubby grew up without being taught much about personal finance either. He moved out on his own after high school, but like me, didn't know much about retirement, savings etc....

This post isn't a blame game! Hey, we're parents and none of us are perfect! As a parent, it's hard to teach your kids something you may not fully understand yourself. Or maybe you just assume your kids "know" that it's good to save $. Or sometimes if you've made a mistake, it's just plain embarrassing to explain it to your kids of all people.

If I can get on my soap box for a minute, I can't think of anything more important to learn in school than personal finance. I look back on those 4 years of French classes that I took and think hmm....if that had been a Money 101 class...would the last 10 years have been different?

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